Legal News: PM: Review Evidence Act

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tweeted that he has asked the Cabinet to discuss a controversial amendment to the Evidence Act 1950 in view of an online protest on Internet Blackout Day.

“Whatever we do, we must put the people first,” he said in a Twitter message.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Senator Gan Ping Sieu also called for the amendment to be reviewed.

Gan said the new law would “cause hardship to innocent agents caught up in a case of Internet abuse, such as hacking, identity theft or even pranks such as Tweet-jacking’”, as well as Internet service providers like cyber cafes.

“For example, if an irresponsible individual comes to my Facebook page and posts a defamatory message or hate remark, will I be held responsible even though the comments did not originate from me?” asked the MCA vice-president.

Meanwhile, several popular websites sported a different look to campaign against the amendment. Black pop-ups greeted visitors to these sites who were told the recently gazetted Section 114(a) of the Act threatens their rights.

Bloggers such as The Star columnists Marina Mahathir and Niki Cheong also took part in Internet Blackout Day, with banners saying “Stop 114A”. The Bar Council also joined in the blackout.

Even businesses including mobile88.my blacked out their websites while scores of Internet users changed their profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook to the “Stop 114A” button.

Some like DAP politician Lim Kit Siang made his stand by going offline completely.

The Internet Blackout Day was coordinated by the Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia.

Source: The Star

By: REGINA LEE and TASHNY SUKUMARAN

Published: Wednesday August 15, 2012

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